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Hate Crimes up by 41% Since 2014, UP Leads Charts: Govt to Parliament

Representative image (News18 Creatives)

Representative image (News18 Creatives)

These numbers were tabled in the Parliament by MoS Home Affairs, Hansraj Ahir, in response to a question on the rise in number of lynchings by cow vigilante gangs and whether the government was going to do something about it.


Suhas Munshi

New Delhi: Since 2014, hate crimes in India have risen by 41%, with Uttar Pradesh topping the charts, the Centre has said in a reply to a question in Parliament.

UP is followed by West Bengal, which has seen a nearly 200% increase in communal crimes between 2014 and 2016.

The numbers were tabled on Tuesday by MoS Home Affairs, Hansraj Ahir, in response to a question on the rise in number of lynchings throughout the country by cow vigilantes and whether the government was doing something about it.

Ahir said that although a dedicated list of attacks by cow vigilante gangs was not maintained, data on offences committed to promote enmity between different groups on basis of religion, race, place of birth etc. was available. He added that no proposal to bring in a law against mob lynching was under consideration by the Centre.

In the state-wise breakup shared by Ahir, Uttar Pradesh topped the list by a huge margin.

In 2014, the number of communal/hate crimes in the state was 26. At the time, the state was behind Kerala (65), Karnataka (46) and Rajasthan (39).

While the numbers decreased in other states, it rose exponentially in Uttar Pradesh. In 2015, UP recorded 60 hate crimes — an increase of 130%. The number rose to 116 in 2016, a jump of 93%.

Overall, from 2014 to 2016, the state witnessed a 346% jump in hate crimes.

India’s most populous state is the only one to have crossed the three-figure mark in the number of hate crimes. Its closest rival was West Bengal, which had 53 cases in 2016.

West Bengal, too, has seen a sharp increase in the number of hate crimes. In 2014, the recorded number was 20. In 2015, the number fell to 18, but 2016 saw a nearly three-fold increase to 53.

In terms of percentage, Uttarakhand saw the sharpest increase in hate crimes — a staggering 450%. From four hate crimes in 2014, the state’s number rose to 22 in 2016.

Another state that witnessed embarrassing growth in hate crimes was Haryana — three cases in 2014 to 16 cases in 2016; an increase of 433%. Madhya Pradesh saw five cases registered in 2014 and had a 420% increase to 26 in 2016.

The southern states, too, saw no respite as Tamil Nadu registered 33 hate crimes in 2016, as compared to 16 in 2014. Telangana saw an 83% increase and went from 18 to 33.

In all, between 2014 and 2016, 16 states have registered a growth in hate crimes. The BJP is in power or in alliance in nine of them. In the rest, regional parties, in alliance with national parties in some states, are in power.

There were a few instances where states that did not have any registered hate crime in 2014, entered the unenviable list by 2016.

Bihar, which had zero instances of hate crime in 2014, registered eight crimes in 2016. Jammu and Kashmir is another state from where zero hate crimes were reported in 2014, but five were registered in 2016.

Jharkhand, which has been the hotbed of cow vigilantes gangs of late, went from zero in 2014 to nine in 2015, but then came down to one in 2016.

Other states that joined the list include Meghalaya (zero in 2014 to four in 2016), Arunachal Pradesh (zero in 2014 to one in 2016) and Assam (zero in 2014 to one in 2016).

On the other end of the spectrum, Delhi registered the sharpest percentage fall in number of hate crimes. From 13 cases registered in 2014, the number of such offences in 2016 was zero.

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